Date - 7th February 2021 Distance - 7 miles
Ascent -
880 ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Hazelrigg Lane (SD 4912 5694)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen and Southey were huddled over the laptop, as Tetley came into the room.

"What are you on with?", he asked.

"Looking at the pictures Dad took on the last walk. They have come out well, so there are plenty for the story", replied Southey.

"Including that one of the infamous stepping stones across the River Condor", said Allen. "I felt so sorry for Dad that he had to do the majority of the walk with soaked feet."

"As we discussed, it was not the first time this had happened. Dad took it in his stride as always", replied Tetley.

We sat quietly then, each of us reminiscing in our minds about the wonderful adventures we had been on over the years.

The reverie was broken by the arrival of Shaun, Little Eric and Grizzly.

"Ooh" cheered Allen. "Tea and cakes. Just the ticket", as he went with Tetley to get the plates and mugs.

"I'll help pour the tea", volunteered Southey.

"Thanks pal", said Shaun.

Little Eric announced, "the cakes today are peach and apricot slice from Grizzly, while I have made chocolate coated flapjack."

"Yummy", said Allen, helping himself to one of each.

"The cake stuffer is off to a flying start", laughed Tetley.

There were murmurs of contentment, Shaun voicing this, "they are both delicious. Thank you pals as always." Then glancing at the laptop he went on. "oh dear, that picture of the stepping stones. I still feel guilty about not noticing there was an alternative route over the river."

"Don't be lad", comforted Tetley. "Dad was not cross about it."

"I wonder if Dad will take us out this weekend?", mused Southey.

Allen picked up the iPad, and in a few taps had the Met Office app open. "It will have to be Sunday, as Dad has his first Covid vaccination on Saturday. A dry day, but cold with a bitter east wind. What we need is and idea."

"Well", said Shaun. "I have been looking into that and have and idea for a route from the same start point as last time, but walking fields and roads to the north. Give me the iPad, Allen, and I will show you all."

He quickly opened the OS Maps app and located the area. "The first path is the same to the track. This time we go right to avoid the stepping stones and use the footbridge onto Kit Brow Lane and to its end, and then on down Long Lane. There we can do a right over the fields to the next lane to then go left back onto Long Lane. Then past Lane End Farm to the road, up the hill to go left past Langthwaite to Blea Tarn Road, and right to Hazelrigg Lane."

"All new paths", agreed Grizzly. "But quite a lot of road, but there is no alternative. It will be nice to explore the area, but probably not a walk we will repeat."

"I like the idea", said Tetley, "but it doesn't seem worth the bother of the diversion from Long Lane."

"Perhaps you're right", agreed Shaun. "We'll just keep on along the lane."

Allen had been watching closely to get the route in his mind. "Right, I'll go and ask Dad."

As he trotted off, Shaun called out, "I'll refill your mug."

"Thanks pal, I've only had three so far."

"Such a tea belly", laughed Little Eric, shaking his head and taking another piece of peach slice. "This really is delicious, Grizzly. You are an ace baker."

"So are you pal", he replied as he tucked into another slice of flapjack.

Soon Allen returned, and after taking a sip of tea, said, "Dad is happy with the idea, and very glad we will avoid the stepping stones. He also thinks it is best to just keep on Long Lane rather than go via Greenalls Farm."

"Super", cheered Southey.


The Walk

After the easy drive we parked in the wide field/track access on Hazelrigg Lane, once again. Dad quickly got ready, and meanwhile we snuggled as deeply down as we could in his rucksack on this cold day.

Not needing any directions, Dad crossed the road and climbed the gap stile, heading across the field by the small stream, to the ladderstile & plank bridge onto the track.

Giving the left route the evil eye as it led to the stepping stones, we turned right to pass Barrow Greaves.

"Follow the access left past the house", advised Shaun.

He then said, "now through that gap stile on the left."

Southey took up the directions now. "Keep by the the hedge and through the distant gate, then in the next field find the footbridge over the River Condor."

"Yippee, a dry crossing!", cheered Little Eric.

"Although it is unlikely we will come here again, the stepping stones will be avoided, even when the river is low", stated Dad.

He strode up the field, the only obvious way being the gate into the farmyard of Lower Kit Brow and to the road, there turning left.

Having gained height, Tetley said, "there's a view to Lancaster University, with Barrow Greaves in the foreground."

"The Bailrigg Campus is huge and there are over 12,000 students", said Grizzly. "The building we can see is InfoLab21. This is the the university's world class research, development and business centre in Information and Communication Technologies."

Dad strode out purposefully, as we climbed on passing Higher Kit Brow.

"That tree will make a nice shot", suggested Allen.

Just minutes later, Little Eric said, "there's the sign for Kitchen Ground Farm. We walked through the farmyard on the last walk."

"I like seeing these farm signs. They are interesting", said Grizzly.

Literally two minutes later, Dad's progress was stopped again, as we passed Lane Side. "Look at that stag statue", said Shaun.

"Impressive", said Tetley.

The lane soon bent left, and with woodland to the right soon came to a crossroads. "Straight across down Long Lane", instructed Southey.

"There is the Old School House, just a little way on, according to the map", said Allen.

"It is too small to have been a school", commented Little Eric.

"I agree", said Grizzly. "That inscribed stone over the door may help with the mystery." Peering up he read out, "This HOUSE With the Land belonging to it was purchased by subscription for the benefit of the Master of Quernmoor old School 1850." [the spelling, capitalization etc, is shown precisely as the inscription]

"So it should really be referred to as the Old Schoolmasters' House", stated Tetley.

Nearby there were huge electricity pylons. "Wow that is some structure at the junction of the lines", called out Southey.

After about another half mile, and coming to some buildings, Shaun called out, "we go through that gap stile to the left."

"The daffodils will make a nice show in a few weeks", commented Grizzly.

The path is by the wall", pointed Southey. "But the ground looks to be very boggy and overgrown. Best to use the concrete track by the building."

"You're right lad."

Approaching a fence, Allen called out, "there's the wooden stile to the left."

The path then led to a cross fence with seemingly no way over. Looking left Tetley said, "there's the remains of the stile. The fence is broken down too. Just the matter of getting over that fallen tree."

Dad managed this if a little in elegantly, to the continue over the next field to a stone step stile, and the next to a gate.

We waited patiently while Dad tackled the gate fastening, he eventually saying, "it's no good lads I simply cannot get it open."

So instead he nimbly climbed the gate, something he has done many times in the past.

The next gate led to the access to Lee End Farm, which we followed towards the road. As we did this Grizzly said, "that's Clougha towering over us. We have been up there a few times."

The access brought us to the road at Condor Mill Bridge.

Getting his notes out, Grizzly said, "the bridge possibly dates from the 18th century. The construction is sandstone rubble. Of the two segmental arches only the left one, as we look at it, actually spans the River Condor. There are central triangular cutwaters with pedestrian refuges. The solid parapet has rounded coping. The bridge straddles the parishes of Quernmore and Scotforth. It is grade 11 listed."

"Thank you pal. Adding interest to our adventure again", said Little Eric. Then at the road, he called out, "there's a post box. It's green, so it must be used by the farm only." Then looking closely, "it was formerly an Irish one. I have never seen one of those before. Added even more interest to my day."

Crossing the bridge took us past Condor Mill Farm.

Shuffling his notes Grizzly said, "I have some information about this. When 16-year-old William Pye served as an apprentice here for 2½ years from 1880, Conder Mill was the well-established premises of J.Bibby & Sons (cattle-cake manufacturers, of Lancaster & Liverpool). William Pye went on to become a major corn & flour merchant in Lancaster, establishing a business prominent in the city until 2005 when it was taken over and renamed: Bibby Agriculture."

Opposite is this pretty mill pond. "Very tranquil", said Allen.

Shaun said, "we have driven this road often, particularly in 2015 when we were doing the Bowland Fells challenge."

"I remember it well", agreed Tetley. "There are a series of steep zigzags to climb on Wyresdale Road."

"Yes lad. It would be so quick in the car, but I have climbed steeper slopes, so I'll just take it steady."

This achieved we came to crossroads. "Keep ahead towards Lancaster", called out Shaun.

We passed Ivy Bank Farm, Little Eric saying, "not far to the summit now. The Ashton Memorial in Williamson's Park will come into sight very soon."

"There", pointed Allen almost immediately.

Grizzly told us, "the Grade 1 listed Ashton Memorial was commissioned by Lancaster industrialist Lord Ashton as a tribute to his late wife Jessy. It was designed by John Belcher and completed in 1909. Externally, the dome is made of copper. The main construction material is Portland stone although the steps are made of Cornish granite. It stands about 150 feet tall and dominates the Lancaster skyline."

Strolling on we passed the access to Langthwaite communications station and then access to Langthwaite House.

After a short way, Southey said, "our route is left over that stone gap stile and then by the boundary to Westbourne Heights."

At the buildings we continued ahead. "Those snowdrops will make a nice picture. A sign spring is on the way", said Little Eric.

Beyond the buildings we came to this large field.

Shaun said, "the path splits towards the far left. What we need to do is follow that track by right hedge to the communication tower, and continue straight on from there."

This was confirmed by the farmer, as Dad chatted briefly to him.

At the tower, we were faced with two gates to continue the route. Dad examined the fastening on each, concluding, "neither can be opened. Climbing time again."

"Seems to be a feature of the walk today", laughed Tetley.

After we kept on by the hedge to the next gate, then past Middle Langthwaite that stands above Langthwaite reservoir.

Grizzly pointed, "the dark edged area in the reservoir is a floating solar farm. It was installed by United Utilities in late 2018. The floating array is about 7,200 square metres in size with some 3,520 solar panels.  The installation will cover an area the size of a football pitch and will provide 1MW of power. This will be used to run the neighbouring Lancaster water treatment works which supplies water to 152,000 people across Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham, so helping to reduce customers water bills."

Striding on, Dad climbed the stile in hedge ahead and dropped down to join the access from Middle Langthwaite leading to Blea Tarn Road.

Little Eric said sternly, "we have not had our picture taken yet. We always have to appear in the stories. Time to look out for a suitable spot."

Seeing a pile of gravel, Allen said, "here is a good place. Come on pals let's get settled."

Off again, we soon descended to Blea Tarn Road, that borders Blea Tarn Reservoir. "Some of our water must come from these two reservoirs", commented Southey.

So, turning left we strolled on to the crossroads, there going right onto Hazelrigg Lane and on nearly a mile to the car.

"That was more interesting than I expected", said Tetley. "Thank you Grizzly, for all the research that added much interest to our day."

"You are welcome pal. I love looking it up. I get frustrated when I can't find what I want, but that does not happen very often."

"Thank you Dad", said Allen. "You are so good to us."

"That's ok lads. I felt it was a bit hard going today. Maybe because there was a lot of road, or possibly I am a bit tired as a result of the Covid jab yesterday."

"Just good to be out", cheered Little Eric.

"Absolutely pal", agreed Southey.

Allen had the last word saying, "a sheep picture free day too. Yippee."


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